FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – OREGON CITY, OR.—January 22, 2024—Today, woman-owned Secret Aardvark celebrates 20 years of bringing hot sauce to the people. The company launched its original Aardvark Habanero Hot Sauce in 2004 at farmer’s markets in Portland, OR. The sauce quickly became a cult favorite, frequently found in diners, dive bars, and at music festivals.

Today, Secret Aardvark is one of the industry’s most prolific independently owned sauce makers. The brand’s line-up has expanded to five hot sauces and two marinades, plus new offerings coming in 2024. Its footprint now includes retailers like Costco, Walmart, Whole Foods, and others–along with local markets and restaurants across the U.S., Canada, the U.K., Japan, Australia, and Europe.

Celebrating National Hot Sauce Day 1/22 at the Winter Fancy Food Show

The anniversary coincides with National Hot Sauce Day, which takes place on Jan. 22, 2024. Secret Aardvark will celebrate while exhibiting at the 2024 Winter Fancy Food Show held Jan. 21 – 23 in Las Vegas, NV. Press and fans are invited to swing by booth #1313 to taste some sauce.

Riding High on Culinary Trends

In part, Secret Aardvark’s success rides on rising consumer preference for home cooking, bold flavors, and global cuisine influences, especially among Millennials and Gen Z.

  • Growing consumer interest in global flavors and cuisines
  • Home cooking, with a focus on simple, affordable meals rich in flavor
  • Demand for healthy food with natural—and no hidden—ingredients
  • Continued, steady growth in the condiment and sauce/hot sauce categories overall

“Not everyone who enjoys food at home is a five-star chef,” says Secret Aardvark Chief Stacy Moritz. “With a great hot sauce, you can enjoy amazing flavor without dirtying every pot and pan in the kitchen—and without breaking the bank.”

The “People’s Hot Sauce”

Beyond consumer trends, Secret Aardvark’s success comes from the company’s unflinching focus on flavor with all-natural ingredients like tomatoes, carrots, onions, and real pepper mash (not the dried stuff).

While some hot sauces are known for one cuisine, such as Mexican, Asian, or Southern, Secret Aardvark’s flavor-forward sauces pair well with all types of food.

Secret Aardvark’s “cuisine-agnostic” signature Habanero Hot Sauce is a fan favorite, Moritz says, because it delivers big heat and flavor without the strong vinegar flavor of many others. That makes it especially easy to toss on non-traditional dishes, like ramen, pasta, mac and cheese, and even waffles.

Product Line-Up

Following the release of its flagship Secret Aardvark Habanero Hot Sauce, the company has expanded its offerings with six other sauces and marinades, all made in the USA.

Secret Aardvark hot sauces include:

  • Secret Aardvark Habanero Hot Sauce, the company’s original sauce, featured on the popular series “Hot Ones,” hosted by Sean Evans (Season 4).
  • Serrabanero Green Hot Sauce, a tangy blending of green tomatoes with serrano and habanero peppers.
  • Smoky Aardvark Chipotle-Hab Sauce, with barbecue-ready heat and flavor from a unique blend of habanero and chipotle peppers.
  • Red Scorpion Fiery Hot Sauce, featuring umami-packed fermented scorpion peppers.
  • Aardvark Reaper Smoked Hot Sauce, with applewood-smoked salt, reaper peppers, and fire-roasted tomatoes.

Secret Aardvark’s product line also includes two spicy marinades:

  • Drunken Garlic Black Bean Sauce, an Asian-inspired whisky-laced marinade and cooking sauce made with citrus, soy sauce, and green onions.
  • Drunken Jerk Jamaican Marinade, a Caribbean-inspired marinade with habanero peppers and dark island rum.

About Secret Aardvark

Secret Aardvark Trading Co. was founded in 2004 in Portland, OR, by creative and culinary genius Scott Moritz. His love of travel, surfing, music, and storytelling was matched only by his passion for discovering the flavors of the world. We began hawking sauce at Portland farmers’ markets. And now you can find Secret Aardvark’s seven hot sauces and marinades in roadhouses, eateries, and groceries nationwide and in seven other countries, proudly gracing tables where the food matters, but the décor might not.

While celebrating our growth, Aardvark stays true to our community roots. We donated 6% of its net profits in 2023 to causes focused on the environment, women, pets, food security, and media independence. Learn more: